I'd like to thank Ms. Ginger for the kind invite, and to let everyone know that Sarah's Journey has taken her into hostile territory--the top 10 at Fictionwise and Eternal Press. Yee-haw!
My name is Robert Appleton and I write sci-fi and paranormal fiction for EP. I also have a not-so-double-O alias, Arthur Everest, who is the author of the Esther May Morrow time travel series. We both live in Bolton, England, but I'm quite a bit cooler. For one thing, I've written The Eleven-Hour Fall.
This is my first year as a published writer, and I have to say it's all rather bonkers. The actual writing is a picnic with Julia Roberts in comparison to what goes on later, when the blank ink dries and the red ink scrawls and your manuscript starts to resemble Edgar Allen Poe's old doormat. But I'm enjoying every minute. For one thing, it pays well (so says the piggy bank).
I love movies, reading classical novels, kayaking, soccer, and writing poetry. If I had the money and didn't object to killing defenceless animals, I'd be an Allan Quatermain, exploring darkest Africa in my khakis. As it is, I must do the exploring in my mind. So far, my farthest journey has been to the mysterious planet Kratos, where a thrilling tale of survival and romance is brought to life in The Eleven-Hour Fall, the e-book everyone on planet Earth is talking about (hey, this is my blog).
And in the spirit of survival, let me introduce the story's protagonist, Kate Borrowdale, with whom I conducted an interview just before her departure to the surface of Kratos...
Deep space transmission #43938 received. Origin: Deep Space Explorer Fair Monique in orbit around planet Kratos. Interview by Robert Appleton of Eternal Press, Canada.
RA: Are we on? Okay, good. [aside] Miss Borrowdale, you might want to clip the mike to your t-shirt. No, there in the middle. Yeah, I know it’s low-cut but…what about…here, let me. [slap] Okay, you go ahead.
Kate: How does this damn thing…ah, finally.
RA: Right, a big hello to everyone listening in from Earth, Mars, and Europa. I’m here with highly regarded terrain scout Kate Borrowdale on board the Deep Space Explorer Fair Monique. In less than an hour, Kate will be a part of the third mission to survey the icy peaks of planet Kratos. The first two missions met with only limited success. Kate, what went wrong?
Kate: What the hell are you trying to say? That it was somehow my fault? [pause] Ah, okay. Sorry. Um, it’s a tough job. If you’ve ever been mountaineering and the weather’s closed in at high altitude, it can be hard to keep your bearings.
RA: Yes, and that would make it infinitely harder to locate Psammeticum. Can you tell us a little about this mineral, and why it’s so important?
Kate: No. I flunked chemistry, I'm afraid. It’s a new energy catalyst. If that means something to you, you probably wear glasses and singe your sideburns on a regular basis. I just go where they send me. The rest is all senses and sensors.
RA: Senses and sensors…I like that. Can I use it for my upcoming book on terrain scouting?
RA: All right, Kate, can you describe for us a typical day on board the Fair Monique? What would an average day entail for Kate Borrowdale?
Kate: A dozen laps round the running track first thing, then breakfast, aerobics, an hour or so on the climbing wall, afternoon briefing, maybe some kickboxing. I like to spend time on the observation decks whenever I can. The virtual telescopes are fantastic, even when you’re alone. After that, um, maybe a movie in the evening, or have a drink with a friend. Typical day, I guess.
RA: Do you have a boyfriend? Or is there someone you’ve got your eye on?
Kate: No boyfriend at the moment, no. And no more personal questions from you, Appleface. Wait a minute! Eternal Press? Didn’t you do that series on French tarts? Yeah, I thought so. Well, you won’t get me to strip. If you want topless, you’re on the wrong deck, jerk.
RA: [clears throat] Word has it that you’re a formidable terrain scout, and that team leaders often request you for the more dangerous missions. Is that the case this time?
Kate: No. Actually, I requested this assignment.
RA: Can you tell us why?
Kate: I…well, it’s hard to explain. You see, there’s someone else I’m…he’s been selected for this one, and…um, I can’t really…oh, sod it! You do ask the most stupid questions. Who the hell are you anyway? You look like a Nutcracker. [laughs] You can put that in your book.
RA: Do you have any family on board?
Kate: Gestapo with the personal questions, again! No, I don’t have any family on board, and no…I’m not going to marry you.
RA: Not even if I had dark, unkempt hair, and had the initials ‘J…’
Kate: Hey! How did you? No, we’d best leave it at that.
RA: Okay, Kate. What are the essential attributes one needs to be a successful terrain scout?
Kate: I’d say stubbornness, a sangfroid demeanour, and a screw loose somewhere up top. Oh, and don’t underestimate the element of fear. It keeps you focused. My motto used to be ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst.’ Now it’s just ‘Taste the sugar in the shit.’ I’m always the optimist.
RA: You certainly are. You career record is second to none. Any tips for aspiring female scouts?
Kate: You’d be better off as a French tart.
RA: Well, I see the call’s just come through for your embarkation, Kate. Thank you for talking to us, and good luck on your latest mission.
Kate: Thanks, Apples. I didn’t really mean that about the Nutcracker, by the way. You look more like an elf with something stuck up his…
RA: And this is Robert Appleton, signing off.
I'll hopefully be back later in the week, with a contest and some more info on my other sci-fi outings. Until then, here's the blurb for Kate's The Eleven-Hour Fall.
What if you fell from a great height...toward a ground you couldn’t see…and hours later, you were still falling?
For love, for survival, on a mysterious planet light years from home. With the man of her dreams unconscious in her arms, astronaut Kate Borrowdale must escape the treacherous peaks of Kratos and traverse a strange, hidden world beneath the clouds…
The Eleven-Hour Fall is available as a novella e-book from Eternal Press, priced $3.50.